Health Fact Corner from the Saint James Health Ministry:

Crystal Richburg Oliver, Ministry Leader


   January  2020 Did You Know Corner?


Improving healthy outcomes is always a goal, why not bring in the new year with a smile?  Put your money where your mouth is…Yes! Literally, invest in that unspoken welcoming mat. Usher in joy! Your smile!  Smiling can have such a positive effect, not only on you, your self-confidence, your health, but its reflection onto others, mirroring positivity back to you.  Smiling can offset stress, depression and stimulate the body to release natural endorphins that aid in healing too!


Keeping those pearly whites healthy is important to a beautiful smile, beginning with children and their diet.  Preventing tooth decay, begins with not allowing infants to fall asleep with bottles filled with milk/juice, but instead with water.  Weaning bottle use early with the recommended age between 12-14 months; serving juice in cups not bottles.  Replacing soft drinks and juices with calcium from milk, yogurt, cheese, even broccoli and/or dark leafy vegetables.  Recommended serving size increases as the child grows for bone growth/development.  Children aged 1-3 (2 servings/day), age 4-8 (3 servings/day), age 9-18 (4 servings/day).


Begin brushing as soon as the first tooth appears, massaging gums with a clean wet cloth in between feeds.   Begin dental visits by the first birthday, and ask about fluoride supplements if necessary to reduce tooth decay/cavities.  

As an adult, keeping your teeth/smile healthy requires regular dental visits, brushing at least twice/day and flossing daily, depending on your general health status it may require visiting your dentist more frequently.  Removing dentures at bedtime, cleaning properly and having them fit properly is important.  Correcting crooked, crowded, over/underbites, and incorrect jaw positions/disorders can be provided with braces, benefitting children as well as adults .  Left untreated, unhealthy teeth/gums can have such a negative impact on your life!  Not maintaining healthy oral hygiene and alignment affects speech, ability to eat, smiles and our self-esteem. It can even have an association with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart health.


  • If you’re pregnant: the increased hormones can cause swelling of the gums, “gingivitis”.

  • If you smoke: the risk for severe gum disease, “periodontitis” (loosening teeth) increases, as well as oral cancer.

  • If you’re being treated for Cancer:  treatments can cause dry mouth, increasing your risk for infection and tooth decay.

  • If you have heart disease: though the verdict is not totally solid on this fact, frequent cleanings may reduce the risk of heart disease/stroke.

  • If you’re HIV positive: Having the virus can increase your risk for dental decay and infections.


Improve your oral health outcomes, and schedule regular dental visit checkups….and show me your SMILE!  Have a Happy, Healthy New Outcomes Year!




































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